Complex coming to DuPont site in Oakley

Oakley leaders have approved plans for a massive job-generating light-industrial complex at the former DuPont chemical manufacturing facility site on Bridgehead Road.

Missouri-based NorthPoint Development intends to construct a 2 million-square-foot space for light industrial, warehousing, distribution, e-commerce fulfillment and light manufacturing on a portion of the 375.7-acre property at 6000 Bridgehead Road, north of the BNSF rail tracks and just south of Lauritzen Yacht Harbor.

The site is the former home of the DuPont Antioch Plant, a chemical manufacturing facility that produced chlorofluorocarbons, fuel-additive anti-knock compounds and titanium dioxide between 1955 and 1998. The site has been under active remediation since about 2003.

“This is a large-scale economic driver,” said Oakley Community Development Director Joshua McMurray. “We see this as a catalyst not only for Oakley, but for the region. They are proposing to build almost two million square feet of Class A industrial space, which Oakley certainly doesn’t have, and it’s hard to find in the region itself. The amount of jobs and benefit to the county as a whole are just great.”

Just a handful of estimates project the development could generate 2,850 full-time and part-time jobs; yield a net city General Fund surplus of approximately $388,400 annually at buildout; and contribute $420,000 per year in revenue to the fire district.

“We want to start construction immediately, roll up our sleeves and attract business, tenants and jobs to the community,” said Jed Momot, NorthPoint Development’s chief strategy officer. “There is a ton of labor here, and users love that. We feel strongly about our investment in Oakley, feel strongly about attracting tenants here because of the labor here, and secondly because of the logistics of the improved Highway 4.”

The Kansas City-based real estate development, management and leasing firm develops an average of 12 million square feet a year across the United States, with current industrial clients including Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes and Hostess.

Five buildings are scheduled for 143.3 acres at the southwest portion of the Oakley site, with the additional 232.4 acres remaining natural.

Active construction en route to the first two buildings could begin as soon as January, with one undisclosed full-building tenant already secured, said Momot, who noted he hopes buildout will occur within three or four years.

A two-phase remediation effort guided by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control has occurred at the site since 2003. Phase one wrapped up last fall, and phase two is scheduled to conclude in March next year.

“For 20 years since we incorporated, we have looked to the DuPont property as the area where job growth would happen in this community,” said Oakley Mayor Kevin Romick.

Antioch Mayor Sean Wright noted the benefits will extend beyond Oakley.

“I am so happy and grateful for the opportunity this project brings, not just to Oakley but to the entire region,” he said.

A handful of citizens have expressed concern the project could cause problems, including decreased air quality and increased noise pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle conflict with wildlife, but city officials said they are comfortable with the current level of completed project analysis, which includes an environmental impact report.

Air quality specialist Rod Stinson, who analyzed the project, confirmed a health risk assessment wasn’t warranted. Biologist Diane Moore, who also explored the project, added that concerns about vehicle risk to animals were a “wash,” because the people most likely to travel to work in East County would otherwise be traveling elsewhere.

“I feel the research has been done, due diligence has been done, requirements have been made and reached,” said Councilmember Claire Alaura. “As it (the project) goes through, there is no doubt there will be eyes and ears watching to make sure that these standards that affect our environment, traffic, and environment and wildlife will be followed.”

As part of the project, NorthPoint Development is scheduled complete a number of area roadway improvements and pay their fair share for others, including alternations to the Wilbur Avenue and Bridgehead Road intersection; on Main Street at the Bridgehead Road and Neroly Road intersection; on Main Street at Empire Avenue; and on Big Break Road at Main Street.

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